Small businesses are the backbone of our country and keeping one thriving is no easy task. The good news is you don’t have to spend a fortune to advertise your business on the web or in traditional print format.
Luckily for small business owners there are new strategies in web-based marketing that are free or very inexpensive. Know what to use and how to positively impact your profits and increase customer base.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the latest advertising methods with some tried and true ones to get your marketing mojo working! Here we go:
1. The Freebie: Give me…Give me…Give me! Since the dawn of time, man has been in love with the freebie. Don’t think of it as money wasted. A smart promotional gift like company t shirts or personalized mugs featuring your logo and catchphrase equals free advertising. Hand them out at trade shows or to valued customers.
T shirts are like moving billboards bound to attract a passerby’s attention. Just be sure to make them bold and interesting, funny always works! Coffee mugs are used daily and are constant reminders to checkout your website or walk-in to your store.
2. Get Customers to Advertise You! Wise ole’ grandpa always told us that the best advertising is “word of mouth” and he was right. A customer referral is worth its weight in gold! If you do your job right, you won’t have to worry about bad ones.
To get started, ask happy customers to write reviews of the products and services they received. Get permission to take pictures of their products to add to the review because most people are by nature visual. Retailers can ask customers to send them photos wearing their clothes or lounging on their sofa.
3. Make Yourself a Bookmark! This may be the age of the tablet, but people still love to read printed books. With this in mind, custom printed bookmarks are ideal marketing materials. Bookmarks can be custom printed on both sides and are extremely inexpensive.
Design one side with a logo or one of a kind artwork and use the opposite side to advertise store hours, promotions and your business contact information. Bookmarks can be used as redeemable coupons or as tickets to an exclusive in-store event. Place them in your local library as free handouts.
QR codes are perfect for bookmarks. Add a QR code to your bookmark that drives traffic to your landing page, links to special coupons or lists your best selling products.
4. Tweet and Then Tweet Some More! Use twitter and be a marketing wizard. Twitter is not just for keeping up with the Kardashians. Businesses have found a strong voice on Twitter because of its real time marketing potential.
Getting started is simple, just create your profile and make sure that it resembles your website for fluidity. Use your business name or an approximate for your Twitter username and add your photo to make it more personal. Your followers want to be able to relate to you.
Your tweets should educate your followers about your products and services. After you have acquired a dedicated following, the positive tweets you receive will speak for themselves. Lastly, Twitter allows you to include links to your blog post, website, photographs and video.
5. Join the masses! Facebook is not just for reconnecting with long lost friends. Increase brand awareness by creating a Facebook page for your business. Use your company logo and give people insight on your business’ story.
Get people excited by introducing exclusive Facebook offers. Post new content daily that provides news or related stories about your business. Don’t over sell your products; instead recommend advice and tips that are relevant to your goods and services.
6. Google, need we say more? Google+ is also a great tool for successfully marketing your business. Create Hangouts that allow you to talk to customers via live video and then stream them on YouTube to reach a larger audience.
Allow people to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of your business by featuring some of your employees and their daily routines. Writing interesting content and building relationships is the key to building a large circle of followers on Google+.
When it comes to marketing your small business wisely, the old and the new methods work well together. Test them out and see what works best for your business and the services you provide. Share your results with us!